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Discussion Starter #1
So after towing the boat home yesterday after a 500 mile trip, I found grease splattered all over the inside of my rim. They are Vortex hubs and I haven’t added any grease since I installed them 11 months ago. I checked the hubs for heat at every gas stop.

Any idea why this would blow? Any hidden issues, or just switch out the seal and carry on.
 

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They should have an 8 yr, 100,000 mile warranty. Your spindle could be the issue if it had any flaws in it. Assume you installed on used spindles.
 

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Here’s what’s happened when you blow out a hub... At normal hub temperatures every thing is fine. When a single bearing race goes bad it generates heat - very quickly. That heat causes your grease to expand. The internal pressure inside the hub will eventually push a bearing buddy or other style cap right off of the hub or blow out an inner seal as yours did... then you’ll begin losing your lube (and it allows that hub to get even hotter while coating your rim with grease...). As you can guess things will get even worse if you don’t notice you’ve got a blown hub early on...

Many see the missing cap or blown seal and think that’s their original problem but it all starts with that bad bearing. Since I’m towing my small skiff 20,000 a year - for many years now I’ve had to learn more about trailers than I ever wanted to know...

“aren’t boats fun?”
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It never felt hot. So should I change the races as well as the seal? Bearings s well to be safe?
 

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Yep, new races ANY time you install new bearings.
 

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Some folks contribute to bearing problems by loading their hubs to the max with grease when they pull maintenance on them which just makes them ripe for a blown seal sooner rather than later... Put no more grease (or other lube) in a hub than the manufacturer recommends...

Now, here's a trick I was taught to be able to find a bad bearing (or one going bad) before the hub's blown... no tools needed, other than a jack to raise each wheel so that it spins free. Once the tire is off the ground give it a hard spin and place your finger tips on the trailer frame lightly.. If you feel anything at all through the frame when the wheel is spinning (it will feel like rumbling or a something inside the trailer while the wheel is in motion.... ). A good hub will not produce the slightest vibration to be felt through the frame when the wheel is turning...

By the way, most that tow their rigs any distance keep a brand new hub (with a tandem or triple axle setup you might want to have more than one spare hub...) with the bearings already installed ready to go for roadside bearing troubles... A spare hub can be as much as $50, most are less... and it's great insurance against being broken down on the road. Of course you'll also need everything to change out a hub, including grease and some cheap disposable gloves so your hands stay in good shape....

Hope this helps - "Aren't boats fun?"
 

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ive had vortex hubs for 6 months with no issues.
I tow every other week or so about 200 miles.
My previous hubs blew reals seals so i went to vortex. (i think because i over greased such as Lemay said)
I now keep a spare grease gun, grease, spare hub, and all tools to change when i tow.
 

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Something to add... if in fact the only reason you blew out that seal is that you had too much grease in the hub and your bearings might be just fine- it's something to consider...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The hub came pre-loaded with grease. I just installed them and didn’t add anymore to it. Everything was fine for close to a year. Until it wasn’t a couple days ago.

The other side was fine.
 

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x2, what LeMay said about quantity of grease and feeling for the gritty sensation. Also the spare hub idea. Pack the bearings well, but don't get silly over it. When the wheel is turning on the road, the grease will warm up and centrifugal force will tend to level it thru the hub. You just need grease at the bearings - the whole hub doesn't need to be filled and should not be. The air space gives plenty of room for expansion.

After installing the Bearing Buddies, note the distance between the cap the grease fitting is mounted in and the outside of its' travel. They're spring loaded and as you pump grease into the zerk, you can watch the cap/piston move out. You only want it to move about 1/2 way - that gives room for expansion....and also makes it easy to check the hub. If it's moved farther in, why ?? If it's all the way out, why ?? Keeping things clean and wiped up makes it simple.

What you said about checking for heat at gas stops makes me doubt if you have a bad bearing.....tho' it Is possible. Heat from a bad inner bearing doesn't always transmit all the way to the outside.

When you pull the hub off the spindle, check the surface on the inside of the spindle where the grease seal sits. Very frequently you'll find a groove where the seal has worn the shaft and that will definitely make a mess as grease oozes past it - just as you're describing.

If there Is a groove there, you can install a Speedi-Sleeve or similar. Taps on easily and is a permanent repair. On a spindle, you'll likely need a length of PVC pipe or similar to give enuf reach. An example is shown at: https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/NOS99159 (NAPA's price is very high - check around) Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all. I will check the bearings for noise. I will check the spindle.

They are Vortex hubs, they do not have bearing buddies. I did not add any addtional grease to the hubs since installing the new hubs, so I am pretty sure it was not over lubed. I do have two spare hubs in the truck, and everything needed to change on the road. (Except rubber gloves) I’ll give Tie Down a call on Monday and see what they have to say.

Thanks again.
 

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Some folks contribute to bearing problems by loading their hubs to the max with grease when they pull maintenance on them which just makes them ripe for a blown seal sooner rather than later... Put no more grease (or other lube) in a hub than the manufacturer recommends...

Now, here's a trick I was taught to be able to find a bad bearing (or one going bad) before the hub's blown... no tools needed, other than a jack to raise each wheel so that it spins free. Once the tire is off the ground give it a hard spin and place your finger tips on the trailer frame lightly.. If you feel anything at all through the frame when the wheel is spinning (it will feel like rumbling or a something inside the trailer while the wheel is in motion.... ). A good hub will not produce the slightest vibration to be felt through the frame when the wheel is turning...

By the way, most that tow their rigs any distance keep a brand new hub (with a tandem or triple axle setup you might want to have more than one spare hub...) with the bearings already installed ready to go for roadside bearing troubles... A spare hub can be as much as $50, most are less... and it's great insurance against being broken down on the road. Of course you'll also need everything to change out a hub, including grease and some cheap disposable gloves so your hands stay in good shape....

Hope this helps - "Aren't boats fun?"
Great tip on checking for a bad bearing.
 

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Tautog, if you can post up what Tie Down has to say... I won't be the only one paying attention....
 

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6 year/100,000 mi warranty. I'm hoping they stand behind their product. I'm on year 3 with their hubs and as of right now, I'd put Vortex hubs on any trailer I ever own compared to bearing buddies
 

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Just an FYI... I’ve been running oil bath hubs on my EZ Loader trailer, clocking 20 to 22,000 miles a year since 2005...

Yep, nearly 300,000 miles without the slightest hub problem.... The hub brand is called “Reliable” and for me they’ve been super. The only things I’m doing differently than others is I’m not dunking my hubs ... and I won’t go over 65 out in the road unless it’s needed to pass someone...

I have no idea what the warranty is on my hubs but clearly I haven’t needed it at all...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just an FYI... I’ve been running oil bath hubs on my EZ Loader trailer, clocking 20 to 22,000 miles a year since 2005...

Yep, nearly 300,000 miles without the slightest hub problem.... The hub brand is called “Reliable” and for me they’ve been super. The only things I’m doing differently than others is I’m not dunking my hubs ... and I won’t go over 65 out in the road unless it’s needed to pass someone...

I have no idea what the warranty is on my hubs but clearly I haven’t needed it at all...
I called them and have to fill out forms, send pictures, proof of purchase, and all that sort of stuff. That’s step 1 and they told me we will take it from there. Not much support so far.
 
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